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BERSA TPR380: A Solid Carry Choice

During Shot Show 2024 I was introduced to Bersa’s new upgraded Thunder, the TPR380. Although it looks similar to the original Bersa Thunder design, it does have several upgrades that make it unique and a considerably nice side arm.

The legacy of the Bersa Thunder 380 stretches across time, having garnered over a million enthusiastic owners within the United States alone. It’s an emblem of affordability and reliability, boasting a compact, all-metal frame and a hammer-fired, double-action/single-action (DA/SA) mechanism, perfectly suited for conceal carry. The Bersa Thunder 380 was a more affordable “James Bond” style handgun, setting the Bersa Thunder 380 as a favored option among firearm enthusiasts. In a move to enhance its appeal further, Bersa introduced the TPR 380 in 2022, a subtle evolution of the original Thunder 380, preserving its essence while infusing some modern upgrades.

The TPR 380 refreshes the classic design with nuanced modifications:

  • Tri-top slide design akin to the Bersa TPR9 and other TPR models.
  • Revised grip panels, streamlining contours and introducing a clamp-on rail section.
  • Enhanced magazine finish with numbered markings for added convenience.
  • Redesigned slide serrations, broader for improved grip.
  • Maintaining the reliable 8+1 capacity and the sturdy aluminum frame, the TPR 380 incorporates integral safety features including the Integral Locking System and a manual safety. It boasts a dovetail front sight and a notched-bar dovetail rear sight, ensuring precision aiming.

The TPR380 has a nice front rail that offers the user the ability to add a laser or light

The new grip design leaves a little to be desired. I feel they could have done a little more here.

Technical Specifications:

  • SKU: TPR380M
  • Series: TPR
  • Model: TPR 380
  • Caliber: 380 ACP
  • Color: Matte
  • Capacity: 8+1
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Safety: Integral Locking System & Manual Safety
  • Front Sight: Dovetail
  • Rear Sight: Notched-Bar Dovetail
  • Action: DA/SA
  • Trigger Pull: 5.5lbs
  • Barrel Length: 3.5″
  • Total Length: 6.6″
  • Weight: 20oz
  • Width: 1.3″
  • Height: 4.9″
  • MSRP: $329.99

While the package contents remain modest, featuring essentials like a trigger lock, chamber flag, one magazine, and the Bersa lock key, the TPR 380’s compatibility with Thunder 380 magazines ensures easy access to additional magazines. Despite the inclusion of features like the Bersa lock, which some may find extraneous, it’s a nod to regulatory compliance and importation standards rather than functional necessity. The trigger lock is something I never use anyway, so it really doesn’t make any difference in the performance of the handgun.

The TPR 380 has the standard trigger lock as all Bersa imported pistols

Though the TPR 380 introduces a departure from the Thunder 380’s ergonomic grip contours to accommodate the rail section, aftermarket options like laser grips offer alternatives for those prioritizing comfort over rail space, albeit at an additional cost.

True to the reputation of Bersa pistols, the TPR 380 inherits a smooth and consistent trigger pull, with the double-action mode providing a safe yet manageable weight, while the single-action mode offers crisp precision conducive to accurate shooting. Operating as a true double-action/single-action pistol, the TPR 380’s safety features align with its intended use, facilitating a double-action first shot while permitting the safety to remain engaged only when the pistol is decocked, eschewing the “cocked and locked” configuration.

The TPR 380 has a very slim profile, and for those with large hands, hang on tight!

On the range I found the Trigger to be as nice as it could be in this set up. While shooting for only short range center mass as my target, the TPR 380 performed well. I had no hick-ups or feed issues, shooting straight out of the box with zero break in time. I will say tight groupings didn’t happen for me. I’m not the best shot in the world, and the pistol was very slim and made it a little hard for me to hold it firmly, but def not a deal breaker. I used a simple 95 grain Lawman FMJ for my testing. I’m sure the TPR 380 will perform just fine with self defense ammo as well.

In essence, the Bersa TPR 380 seamlessly merges tradition with innovation, offering shooters a reliable and versatile firearm without compromising on quality or performance.

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